Readers Write 11/22

“Some choose to dump dairy,” Living, Nov. 11

“Some choose to dump dairy” (Living, Nov. 11) was very helpful about non-dairy sources of calcium. It would have been more helpful for the article to have considered a more inclusive stance on the role of dairy in the diet. As most populations who are not of European origin lack lactase in adulthood and have limited dairy tolerance, use of these vegetarian sources of calcium should have been emphasized as a healthy approach, taken by many cultures. Since over 80 percent of all adults worldwide (and more than 50 percent in some areas of the U.S.) are lactose intolerant to varying degrees, non-dairy sources of calcium and Vitamin D are important contributors to health. Dr. Martha L. Elks, senior associate dean of educational and faculty affairs, Morehouse School of Medicine

SOCIETY

Animal’s rescuer is truly a local hero

Thanks for the wonderful story of Ruby’s rescue (“Big rescue, big surprise,” Living, Nov. 9). In these dark times, it’s reassuring to know there are still compassionate folks who are willing to interrupt their comfortable lives to help a lonely, frightened animal. Without someone’s intervention, this story would probably have had a much less happy ending. I appreciate your sharing this with us. I’m sure many hearts were warmed by this tale.

Gary DeNicola is a genuine hero, and I salute him! 

Tobye Pierce, Marietta

POLITICS

No taxpayer money to pay for abortions

I’ve been a Democrat my entire life. I’m proud to call myself a liberal. The one issue that completely baffles me is abortion. The Republicans constantly use this as a wedge issue — but even with eight years of Bush, and many years with a Republican Congress and conservative Supreme Court, they have done nothing about the issue except use it politically. When are the Dems going to get some guts and call on people to take responsibility for their actions? Taxpayers should not be asked to subsidize abortions. And for the 40 Democrats who say they won’t vote for a health care bill that doesn’t allow people to be covered by taxpayer subsidies, I say: “Goodbye, health care.”

Jack Prahl, Peachtree City

Not in agreement on what AARP endorses

Just because AARP endorses a cause doesn’t mean a majority of its members do. I naively joined AARP 15 years ago, thinking I’d get some discounts, which are nothing special. I didn’t know AARP was primarily a lobby, and one whose philosophy and opinions I couldn’t be more opposed to. I hope more seniors will join me in becoming an ex-member.

Arnie Dill, Atlanta

Can any document hold up to Deal’s scrutiny?

Gosh, my husband and I are worried now! Based on Rep. Nathan Deal’s criteria (“Deal to quiz Obama on birth,” Metro, Nov. 7), we’re afraid that we may not actually be U.S. citizens. We both possess only “digitally scanned images” of our (alleged?) birth certificates. Mine is titled “Certificate of Live Birth”; my husband’s, issued by a southwestern state, is a “Certificate of Birth.” Causing us even further concern is the fact that the “Certificate of Birth” does not include a doctor’s name or signature. Apparently, even the state seals affixed to the certificates may not stand up to Mr. Deal’s scrutiny.

Since Deal believes such documents are suspect, does this mean that our Social Security numbers, our passports, our driver’s licenses — even my husband’s service in the U.S. Army — have all been based on lies? Please advise, Mr. Deal.

Deborah G. Stubbs, Rome

PUBLIC SAFETY

Expedite the appeals, and the executions

“Can Georgia afford the death penalty?” (News, Nov. 11) suggested that the cost of defense of capital offenses was too high to justify the death penalty. This argument ignores the cost of housing a prisoner for life.

The cost to house a prisoner in Georgia is now over $20,000 annually per inmate. Why should the Georgia taxpayers be forced to pay these enormous costs? We need to have an expedited appeals process on capital cases, so that the sentence, if affirmed, can be carried out promptly. An expedited enforcement would increase the deterrent effect of the death penalty. While recidivism in prison is quite high, the recidivism rate of those who are executed is zero.

John Watson, Marietta

WATER

Look to Australia for a water solution

The water issues facing Georgia could be solved by requiring all states fighting about water rights to stop and build desalinization plants using reverse osmosis technology, powered by new wind generation plants off our coast. Australia has had great success with this in solving their water issues, and Georgia taxpayers could see their tax dollars used in a productive way.

Lynn Everitt, Oakwood

Columnist off base on water task force

Jay Bookman’s opinion piece from Nov. 13 regarding the governor’s water task force (“Lopsided water task force isn’t up to the task”) unfairly characterizes the makeup and the mind-set of the task force members. Gov. Sonny Perdue’s decision to pursue a business focus with some of the best minds our state has to offer should be praised, not criticized. Task force members have already donated countless hours of consulting fees pro bono to the state. Taxpayers should thank these companies for donating their time and expertise when it would be very easy for them to concentrate their efforts on paying clients.

The task force contains engineers, manufacturers, attorneys, conservation groups, small business owners, state agency heads, and the highest-ranking public officials in Georgia. Simply put, the governor’s task force brings together the best business minds in Georgia, and they are doing it for free. Water is an issue that will continue to be at the forefront in Georgia, and we won’t solve the problem by maligning the very individuals who are trying to solve the problem. I am proud to serve on the governor’s task force, and I think the citizens of Georgia will be proud of the end result.

Al Nash, 2009 chairman for the Council for Quality Growth

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